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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Prayerful Perseverance

thumbnail image The uncomfortably warm days of last week are a fairly distant memory, but the considerable heat brought out the spirit of perseverance in many of us. I witnessed people taking deep breaths and drinking bottles of water before they dared descend into the depths of the Victoria Line at the Cardinal Place entrance. Extreme weather conditions may be trying, but they can also unite people in a shared endeavour, and they certainly give us something to talk about, aside from politics.

In the Gospel set for this 17th Sunday of Year C, we have some profound teaching on the subject of prayer. At the heart of this teaching is the lesson that perseverance is required of the person who would be prayerful. Jesus gives his disciples the amusing and evocative image of the two friends - one of whom is in bed and the other who has been woken up by a friend returned from travels. Will the sleepy friend get up to help? The Lord suggests that friendship might not be enough to persuade him to. The one who knocks needs to persist, to be hopeful and to demand an answer.

Where does this lead us in thinking about how to pray? Firstly, it teaches us to be expectant and demanding and never to give up. There is no place for pessimism and defeatism in prayer. If we need three loaves then we must ask for them and expect a response, perhaps not immediately, but in God’s good time and in his way.

Secondly, it suggests that we are called to support one another in prayer, and never to approach our prayer life as though it were some kind of personal fiefdom. As the hymn reminds us: ‘the voice of prayer is never silent’. This means that we never pray alone. The friend sleeping in his bed is rudely awakened to this fact by the untimely request of his friend. Eventually he will get up and offer his prayerful assistance. Perhaps there is someone who needs our prayerful assistance at this time?

The passage concludes with the simple reminder that if God is good, and he certainly is, then he will give his children what is good for them. We can be sure that our true needs will always be met by the One who loves us so much that he gave us his only Son, whose Spirit we have all received.

The newsletter will now take a short break for August, and returns on the first Sunday of September. It only remains for me, on behalf of the Administrator and all the Chaplains, to wish you a happy, relaxed and safe summer. The prayerful round of Cathedral life continues unabated throughout August, needless to say.

With prayers and all good wishes.

Fr Daniel Humphreys

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image The Cathedral Scout Troop, for boys and girls aged 10-14, will be running every Wednesday throughout the summer holidays, in the Hinsley Room from 6.30pm. Come along for fun and adventure. There will also be a group running for 14-18 year olds. Contact Rebecca for more information on 4thcityofwestminsterscouts@gmail.com.

Related links: Email for Contact


thumbnail image Due to essential maintenance work the Hinsley Room will be closed from Wednesday, 21 August to Tuesday, 27 August inclusive.


thumbnail image The Filipino Club will be holding their Summer Charity Tea Dance on Sunday, 18 August from 2pm to 5pm in Cathedral Hall. There will be dancing all afternoon with light refreshments and a grand raffle draw at the end of the day. Tickets are available at the door. Entrance fee is £5 and Raffle Tickets £1 each. The Club never sells tickets on line so please only buy at the door or from a Club Member. All are welcome.


thumbnail image Cardinal Hume Centre is seeking new volunteers for their Homework Club and After School Clubs for the Autumn Term in September. Clubs are for local, disadvantaged primary school children and involves helping with maths and English and/or playing and supporting children in arts and crafts, cooking and games. Great opportunity for 16 and 17 year olds but all welcome. Email Ioanna at volunteering@cardinalhumecentre.org.uk.

Related links: Email for Cardinal Hume Centre


thumbnail image The July and August edition of Oremus, the Cathedral Magazine, is now available for collection from the stand at the back of the Cathedral, with the usual interesting mix of articles, information and images. Oremus is free, but your donations in appreciation of it are much appreciated and assist with the costs of publication. It is also available to read on Issuu. Please see below for the link to access a digital copy.

Related links: Link for Oremus July and August Edition


thumbnail image For parents with children at the end of Year 2 or older, and who would like to make their first communion next year, please collect a form from Clergy House Reception. Details on the course, the expectations of the Cathedral and instructions on returning the forms will be provided with the form.


thumbnail image Croissants and Christianity: coffee morning with faith and fellowship for those with bumps, babies and toddlers. Join us on Monday morning from 10am to 11.30am in the Hinsley Room off Morpeth Terrace. We have a cup of tea and chat while children play, enjoying an opportunity to pray the rosary together, share common concerns and lend each other spiritual support in an informal and friendly context, often benefiting from input from one of the Cathedral priests. It is free and runs during term time and occasionally during school holidays. The Hinsley Room is on the left as you walk down Morpeth Terrace to Francis St, accessed via an iron gate and up a path alongside the little garden.


thumbnail image Wednesday, 11 September: Friends’ Tour of the Cathedral and the Cathedral Tower. The tour will start at 6.30pm, with drinks to follow. Tickets £25.

Thursday, 12 September: Henry VIII – The Decline and Fall of a Tyrant. Talk by historian Robert Hutchinson. Westminster Cathedral Hall. 7pm. Tickets £10.

Wednesday, 25 September: Private tour of the Sacristy with the new Head Sacristan, Mr Richard Hawker, who will be explaining his role and talking about some of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures and items of historical interest. Afterwards there will be refreshments in Clergy House Library. Please come to Clergy House Reception for 6.30pm. The tour and talk will commence at 6.45pm. Tickets £25.

Tuesday, 1 October: Friends’ Curry and Quiz. Westminster Cathedral Hall. Doors at 6.30pm and the quiz will begin at 6.45pm. Tickets £18 (please note this replaces the previously advertised quiz on 24 September).

Tickets available from Clergy House Reception or Friends’ office on 020 7798 9059.


thumbnail image The SVP would like to thank everyone who supported last Sunday’s book sale by donating and/or buying books, CDs and DVDs. The total raised was over £560. The next book sale will take place on 15 September.


thumbnail image Once again we will be taking part in the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham. This takes place on Saturday, 21 September. We will be leaving the Cathedral at 6.30am and returning at approximately 7pm. The cost will be £21.00 per adult and £11 per child. To book, please leave the required money, in an envelope clearly marked with your name and contact details, at Clergy House Reception.


thumbnail image American taxpayers can receive a US income tax deduction for their contributions to support the work and heritage of the Cathedral by directing their contributions to American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., a non profit 501(c)(3) Organization (EIN # 13-2983174).

They will also enjoy special events and receive newsletters about Cathedral activities. Donations may be made through bequests and charitable trusts.

Contact Ms. Una Chang, President, American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., P.O. Box 92, New York, New York 10185-0092, e-mail UChang1@aol.com

Related links: Click here for email


thumbnail image This takes place in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel every Monday to Friday following the 1.05pm Mass until 4.45pm.